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10 Steps to Hiring More Diverse Candidates (Recruiting for Diversity)

Read Time: 10 mins

Having a diverse staff and supporting diversity is a good practice. But how do you do it? To accomplish this, you'll need to follow diversity recruiting strategies.

Diversity in the workplace is important.Diversity in the workplace is important.Diversity in the workplace is important.
Diversity in the workplace is important. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

According to Glassdoor.com,

“More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offer.”

So, having a diverse workplace will help you to attract talented workers. But not only that. It's the right thing to do. When you support diversity, you’re valuing each individual and the contribution they can make.

You might understand that diversity is important. But maybe you aren’t sure how to start diversity recruiting. All you know is that your current recruiting strategy isn't working. 

This article will go over why diversity hiring practices matter. We'll also share some diversity recruiting strategies you can start using today. Use this information to learn how to recruit diverse candidates.

What Is Diversity Hiring?

Diversity hiring is putting diversity recruiting strategies in place to ensure that biases don’t affect hiring procedures. These biases can be related to:

  • race
  • age
  • gender
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • or other personal characteristics 
Diversity hiring is putting diversity recruiting strategies in place to ensure that biases don’t affect hiring proceduresDiversity hiring is putting diversity recruiting strategies in place to ensure that biases don’t affect hiring proceduresDiversity hiring is putting diversity recruiting strategies in place to ensure that biases don’t affect hiring procedures
Diversity hiring is putting diversity recruiting strategies in place to ensure that biases don’t affect hiring procedures. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

Diverse recruiting means that you look to find the best possible candidate. You avoid unconsciously screening people who can do the work according to differences that don't matter. It also means that you hire qualified candidates and promote diversity in your workforce.

Why Diversity Hiring Practices Matter

Not only are diverse hiring practices the right thing to do, but they're also a good business practice.

Some benefits of hiring diversely:

  • a broad range of skills on your team
  • more language and cultural awareness
  • more varied candidates with different experiences and points of view

This means these benefits will improve performance, innovation, and productivity.

Diversity hiring practices matter.Diversity hiring practices matter.Diversity hiring practices matter.
Diversity hiring practices matter. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

Diverse hiring practices directly benefit your company. And in many places, it's the law:

Plus, employees and potential employees want to work for an organization that uses diverse hiring practices. And they don't want to work for a company that doesn't have diverse workforce. According to Glassdoor.com,

“Nearly a third of employees and job seekers (32%) would not apply to a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce.”

Deal With Unconscious Bias

One of the biggest obstacles to creating a diverse team and to diversity recruiting strategies is unconscious bias. This refers to the attitudes people hold about each other without realizing it.

Everyone has some bias on an unconscious level. According to HumanRights.gov.au,

“We’re talking about a society where about 20% of Australians experience racial discrimination of some kind.”

Biases affect how you interact with others. And for hiring managers, they affect how you add to your team. Having bias means that you're vulnerable to societal and subtle influences.

To learn more about unconscious bias (and how to overcome it), study this tutorial:

10 Diversity Recruiting Strategies You Can Use Today

As you recruit diverse candidates, what can you do to improve your hiring practices? Are you working on creating diversity recruiting strategies? Here are ten diversity strategies you can use today:

1. Look at Your Job Ads

If you want to hire diverse candidates, you should look at your job ads. Are your job ads preventing you from recruiting diverse candidates? Start by looking at your language in the ad.

Is the ad language technical, which means it’s geared toward a specific experience level? If you've got a job ad like this, find ways to be more inclusive in your language to appeal to more candidates. Let candidates know that you’re looking for them and why your company would be a great fit for them.

Look at your job ads.Look at your job ads.Look at your job ads.
Look at your job ads. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

Look at the requirements you've got in your job ad. Are they necessary requirements that are tailored for the job? Or did you just list everything you could think of? Unnecessary requirements can mean that qualified candidates won’t apply. This could impact your diversity hiring.

For more details on how to create job descriptions to attract diverse candidates, review this tutorial:

2. Assess What Doesn’t Work

An essential part of creating an inclusive environment is to assess what doesn’t work in your interview process and work environment. This step should be early on in your diversity recruiting strategies, so you know what needs to be adjusted.

When assessing what works, you must remember that putting people in traditional stereotypes won’t work. When people are put into traditional stereotypes, you won’t see their unique traits. Instead, create specific requirements to bring more diversity into your business.

3. Adjust Your Branding

As part of your diversity recruiting strategies should review and adjust your employer branding. Ask these questions:

  • What impression do your materials make on people?
  • What's your messaging on job boards?

If you create partnerships, create them with different organizations to get more diverse talent. Also, diversify your job listing locations. This allows you to reach more people.

The bottom line is that when people read your job ad, you want them to think it’s a place they can do well.

4. Create Policies that Appeal to Diverse Candidates

Create policies that appeal to diverse candidates.Create policies that appeal to diverse candidates.Create policies that appeal to diverse candidates.
Create policies that appeal to diverse candidates. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

You can have diverse hiring practices and strategies. But if you don’t have policies that appeal to diverse candidates, you won’t be successful in having a diverse company. There are several things to look at and different ways to fix what's wrong. Here are some ways:

  • Holidays that employees get off. Do you include diverse religious holidays? If not, consider adding this.
  • Community events. Do you sponsor diverse community events? Consider a variety of events for community involvement.
  • Flexible work hours. Flexible hours allow people to be more involved with their communities. And it opens your positions up to people who might not be able to work traditional hours.
  • Remote work. Offering remote positions gives you a broader pool of candidates to choose from. It also allows people who aren't withing commuting distance to be a part of your organization.

Encourage employees to speak up if they think specific policies hinder diversity in the workplace. Also, if they present ideas to make the workplace more diverse, seriously discuss those ideas. This type of open dialogue makes everyone feel welcome.

This tutorial discusses the importance of offering diverse benefits:

5. Offer Paid Internships to Targeted Groups

As part of their diversity recruiting strategies, many companies offer internships. This is an excellent way to find new and talented candidates within your industry.

It's important to pay for any internships you offer. Many people can't afford to take an unpaid internship.

Plus, the interns join your team and gain practical experience. To find people, reach out to schools in your area so that you can make connections with students. But try also opening up the internships to people who may not be able to afford to attend university.

6. Look at the Factors You Screen For

When looking at how to hire diverse employees, assess the factors you screen for in your candidate search. You need to assess what you look for in a candidate and how you talk to the potential candidate.

A key part of diversity hiring is always to question what you value in candidates, why you value those traits, and whether that's based on your own bias.

Look at the factors you screen for.Look at the factors you screen for.Look at the factors you screen for.
Look at the factors you screen for. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

You also need to investigate the testing and screening process of the candidates.

Ask yourself the hard question: are you purposefully steering the results towards specific types of people?

If you look at your process and find that you're favoring specific groups, change your process immediately. 

7. Use Blind Resumes

Try adding blind resumes to your diversity recruiting practices. Blind resume review is a popular hiring technique that's being used by some companies.

A blind resume review is when any personally identifiable information is blocked out on a candidate's resume before the employer reviews the resume.

After this information is blacked out, information such as skills and experience is all that's left. Discover whether this candidate is right for the job without any possible biases.

8. Use Blind Interviews

Many companies are also doing blind interviews. You should consider adding blind interviews to your diversity recruiting strategies.

A blind interview is an evaluation method that removes personal information like gender, race, and ethnicity from the first stages of the interview process. You can conduct a blind interview by having candidates fill out an online form, an emailed questionnaire, or an online chat.

Be careful, though. Phone calls and video chats can still reveal identifying details. They don't count as blind interviews.

The goal of a blind interview is to find candidates and remain free of bias during the interview process. Unfortunately, it can be hard to remove bias. Blind interviews can help but are most effective early in the interview process.

9. Take Part in Diversity Job Fairs

When looking into how to hire diverse employees, try participating in diversity job fairs. At a diversity job fair, you're more likely to meet a wide variety of diverse people than at a standard job fair.

Many cities have diversity job fairs that target candidates who are considered minorities and underrepresented in the workforce. 

Participate in diversity job fairs.Participate in diversity job fairs.Participate in diversity job fairs.
Take part in diversity job fairs. Often they're helpful for hiring minorities. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

In some job fairs, you can have a booth where you let candidates come to you. This makes it easy to interview or talk to a wide variety of candidates quickly.

10. Create a Safe Space Culture

It’s not good enough to just have diversity recruiting. You also need to have a safe space culture where vulnerability is honored and celebrated. You want people to feel safe enough to be their authentic selves.

When people feel that they can be themselves, they stay and thrive. When an employee has feedback, discuss that feedback. Let them know that you appreciate the feedback.

Create a safe space culture.Create a safe space culture.Create a safe space culture.
Create a safe space culture. (Image Credit: Envato Elements)

For more tips on how to create safe spaces, look at creating resources like employee networks:

When hiring minorities, don’t look for people who fit into your culture. Instead, hire people who agree with your mission and have the desire to work hard. When you look for employees who already fit into the culture, you miss out on new experiences and skills that could benefit your team.

Learn More About Diversity in the Workplace

If you want to learn more about diversity in the workplace, read these articles:

Start Using Diversity Hiring Strategies Now

These ten diverse recruiting strategies are an excellent place to start. But don’t forget that to have a diverse workplace, you’ll have to work on it constantly.

Since you’re researching this and found this article, you're most likely in charge of diversity hiring. As you’ve read in this article, diversity recruiting takes a diverse team.

To achieve a diverse workplace, you’ll need to have the commitment and cooperation of employees. Setting up diverse recruiting strategies can be a big job. But the benefits outweigh the difficulties.

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